Database performance has become a top priority for many organizations with the ever-growing complexity of data, business intelligence, and analytics applications.
Ensuring that databases perform at their best is not an easy task – it requires continuous monitoring and tuning to provide peak performance.
This article will cover some of the most critical steps you need to take to optimize your Oracle database so you can achieve maximum ROI.
What is Oracle Performance Tuning?
Performance tuning is the process of modifying your system to achieve better performance.
In Oracle, this can be done by modifying database parameters, creating indexes on tables, and even changing SQL queries to improve response time for users accessing data.
The first step in optimizing the overall performance of an Oracle database should always be understanding how the workloads impact individual parts of the system – including CPU usage, active sessions, and waits.
By analyzing each of these critical metrics at a high level, you will gain insight into where optimizations need to take place to increase throughput across all aspects of your business intelligence solution.
Top 5 Best Practices for Oracle Performance Tuning
When there are existing practices that we can follow we should use them without any delay as our guide simply because someone else before us has gained benefits from experiencing them.
Here are a few of those best practices to be followed;
1. Determine high-cost queries
High-cost queries take up most of a given workload - and can be identified by looking at average, minimum, or maximum response time/throughput levels.
You should always start tuning these high-cost queries first since they will often have the most significant impact on the overall performance of your Oracle database.
2. Identify top SQL statements
This is done either manually (by closely monitoring specific sessions) or through tools like ADDM reports, which provides insight into both long-term trends and historical metrics over time to identify any critical errors before it's too late.
Once you've determined what types of expensive SQL statements are causing issues within your environment, look for ways to rewrite them, so they're less resource-intensive moving forward.
3. Decrease the workload
Decreasing the workload is often a good first step to improve performance for your Oracle database.
This is because less data being requested by end-users means fewer resources will be utilized when it comes to handling requests - which can dramatically improve overall response times and throughput rates if done correctly (and at scale).
4. Identify resource bottlenecks
You'll need a tool like AWR or ADDM reports along with an experienced DBA on hand who knows how to read the results correctly to identify where potential issues are stemming from within your environment.
You're looking specifically for high waits during peak periods as well as long-running queries/transactions that may not have been caught before since they were occurring outside of regular business hours.
5. Optimize resource usage
In some cases, it's necessary to increase memory resources to eliminate bottlenecks within an Oracle environment - mainly if you're dealing with significant increases in user traffic since this will make it easier to support them during peak periods.
How do I monitor my databases?
After you have performed some initial analysis around your workloads and have a good idea of where to start - the next step is monitoring your system so you can keep track of critical metrics.
There are several ways to do this; however, most implementations will include some combination of:
Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM)
ADDM gives reports that provide high-level recommendations for improving performance by modifying database parameters or creating indexes on tables.
These should be used as a starting point when it comes time to tune Oracle databases – they're not perfect but represent an easy way out if you still want accessible documentation around why specific settings were changed to achieve better results without taking too much time away from other projects.
On top of ADDM reports, many third-party tools can provide additional insight into the performance of your Oracle databases.
One such example is SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer, which offers high-level analysis around wait types and resource usage – it's a good starting point for an administrator to begin monitoring their environment.
Real-time Automatic Workload Repository (AWR)
Reports that monitor key metrics to build baselines across individual database objects and subsystems and provide long-term historical reporting on past workload behavior.
These reports are beneficial for tuning an Oracle database since they offer deep insights into how specific SQL queries have been performing over time, along with details about CPU utilization, active sessions, and waits at various points throughout history.
This allows you to investigate why performance may have deteriorated in the past and what changes can be made to avoid similar issues moving forward.
Types of Tuning
There are two types of tuning Oracle database:
This covers issues that can be prevented by carefully analyzing your overall database environment (such as insufficient memory to support a given workload).
In most cases, the only way to find these issues is by keeping an eye on key performance metrics - such as CPU usage, active sessions, waits, and response time/throughput levels which will help you identify potential problems before they occur.
By monitoring these statistics over long periods using tools like ADDM reports or AWR snapshots – it becomes much easier to track down specific queries that may have caused bottlenecks when running at scale under heavy loads for extended periods.
This is the more common approach to tuning a database, which involves identifying specific problems with queries or objects causing issues in your environment and then making adjustments accordingly.
For example, if you notice an increase in response time for certain SQL statements overtime after putting a new application into production - it may be because of poorly written queries since many developers aren't familiar with how Oracle works under the hood.
To avoid these types of mistakes (and other related ones), use tools like Database Performance Analyzer, ADDM reports, and AWR snapshots whenever possible so you can track down any potential errors before they happen at scale.
We should not forget that performance problems are caused when a particular resource is overused. Thus, this overused resource is the bottleneck in the system.
There are many different types of issues that can cause performance problems within an Oracle database - and it's not always clear what the root cause is unless you know how to identify all potential factors.
Follow these best practices for performance tuning along with making sure your hardware meets or exceeds industry standards when possible, you'll be able to maintain optimal levels of efficiency and reliability moving forward.
If you are eagerly looking to increasing performance and are not sure where to start, contact our team of experts to help you just reach that.